Frogging, Swiming and Eating


Baby Legall is coming next month and I have NOTHING for her. I was chugging along with the multi-colored BSJ. I got a third of it done; I started feeling like I was going to be ready for next weekend's baby shower. I pulled it out on Thursday night and noticed that it was turning into a big mess! It has snags in it and I dropped a stitch. I NEVER drop stitches. How did that happen? This poor baby is not going to have a jacket when she is born. Thank god she is coming in August and it is still going to be hot. Guess I need to go the store and get an impersonal present, so I don't go to the party empty handed.

I guess I will frog the BSJ today. :(

Again, I am writing another post saying the same thing. "I ain't got nothing going on with my knitting, so I am going to talk about something non knitting related."

Yesterday was another hot day in Brooklyn, so I decided to do something out of the ordinary. I wanted to go swimming/play in some water. My first idea was to go to Spa Castle in Flushing, Queens, but it is in Flushing and it cost 45 dollars just to go in (that doesn't include spa services, food, drinks or anything else extra). After a few minutes of pouting, I realized that I live in Brooklyn and Brooklyn is the home of Russian immigrants, so why not go to a Russian Bath House.

After a little research I realized that I live blocks away from the
Coney Island Banya. (A banya is a Russian public bath in Russian can refer to any kind of steam bath, but usually refers to the Russian type of sauna.) Once I realized I was steps away from a pool, I knew that is where I was going to spend my day.
The only problem was that my two besties (Suzy and Amanda) that was supposed to chill with can't swim and didn't have any interest in spending their day in water, so I texted my road dawg "Momo" and of course she was down.

2 hours later Mo and I were standing in front the Banya. Trying to figure out if we should go in or not. As soon we walked in and we meet Victoria. Immediately, I was in love. She was very warm and welcoming. She didn't even blink at the two black dykes rolling into a Russian bath house.

I asked her if we could take a look around to see what the facility looked like. She gave us a tour. The place was really small. They have two dipping pools one hot and one cold. Two saunas one wet and one dry and one steam room. She also explained if we wanted to drench ourselves in freezing cool water all we had to do was pull a string to get ice cold water. I wasn't sure what she was talking about; only thing I knew is that I was ready to jump in.

The surprising thing was that even though the it is over 90 degrees outside there are only 10 people in there . We decided to stay. As we are paying, Victoria told us about the restaurant (which sounded amazing) and then we headed upstairs to the changing room.

Our adventure began as soon as we entered the changing room. The first thing I noticed about the changing room is that there are NO CURTAINS. Not even on the showers. There isn't a separate changing stall either. So that means that I have to strip down in front of everyone and I have to look at everyone too. YUCK! I don't want to see these people's junk and I really don't want them looking at mine, but I got over it and I put on my blue and white fat man swimming trunks and a wife beater.

As soon as we made it down stairs we walk over to the two dipping pools (both are less than 4ft deep). The hot one is empty (surprise surprise) and the cold one has a 10 year old boy in it playing. We decide to get into the cold pool. The water isn't super cold, but it is nice. I see a pipe and go over to it thinking that this must be the freezing cold water is that Victoria mentioned. But I couldn't figure out where the water would come from and then I looked over and saw a shower with a pulley string and realized that is what she was talking about. (Thank god I wore my contacts, because I wouldn't have been playing with the pipe trying to figure out to make the cold water come out.)

We stayed in the cool water for a while. I attempted to swim in the sallow pool when the boy walked away. It was nice to to glide across the pool and feel the water all over my body. Mo had the brilliant idea of going to the wet sauna. We went in and again I was confused, because I had no clue what to do in a wet sauna. I have been in several saunas, but never a wet one. I had noticed while we were in the pool that a woman had filled a bucket with the freezing cold water and went into the wet sauna room with it, but she was already gone. Mo, I and another first time attendee were standing in there trying to figure what made this room wet and then we figured out that the buckets that were in the sauna room are supposed to be filled with the freezing cold water and pour the freezing cold water over your body. Once we figured that out. I was in love with the wet sauna room.

That was until Leo arrived. Leo is the masseuse/keeper of the heat. Leo, who I think was a flaming homosexual, came in and told us we weren't using the room properly and it wasn't hot enough. (At that moment the room was at least 105 degrees.) He informs us that we should be sitting on the top row of bleachers to feel the full effects of the heat, so me being the adventurous jackass that I am. I climbed up to the top. Leo processed to warm the room up by throwing a couple of spoonfuls of the now warm water into the oven (the oven is a beautiful brick oven. It reminded me an oven you would find in brick oven pizzeria.) Then he took a towel and swung it around the room and all of sudden the room starts to warm up a bit. Then all of a sudden it went from being a bit warmer to being unbearable. At that moment I understood importance of the freezing cold water.

Mo left me before all of this started and I was left alone in this hot room with two strange men (both of them are newbies too) and I thought I was going to die. The guys were nice and they realized that we needed more water and they filled the buckets with FREEZING water and I poured the water all over my body and then fell in love with the room even more.
After torturing myself on the top bleachers for a few minutes I climbed down and decided to join my fellow newbie on the lower level. Big yucky mistake! The guy was super sweet and we chatted and shared a bucket of freezing water together. Seemed like a nice man; we shared pleasantries and I was learning about him. Then I looked down and I learned a little bit too much.

Dude was not wearing swimming trunks. He was wearing boxers. And his junk was hanging out of his boxers plus he kept wetting himself with the water and his boxers were transparent. During our chat, I learned that he had not planned to come to the Banya, so he didn't have trunks with him and the front desk didn't have a pair in his size to sell him. So he decided just to chill out in in boxers. At that moment, I wish I had my one piece bathing suit in my bag, because I would have given him my fat man trunks. (In his defense, I do not think he realized that his junk fell out or that his boxers were transparent.)

After sitting in the wet sauna I made a pit stop at the freezing cold shower station and drenched myself. For some crazy reason, I decided to check out the dry sauna. Dear god, please tell me why anyone would willing walk into a room where the temperature is over 130 degrees. When I opened the door to dry sauna I was welcomed by the pleasant smell of eucalyptus. Between the scent and the dry heat I was captivated. I figured that Mo should experience this and I waved like a crazy woman trying to get her attention, but she had fallen asleep in a plastic chair. So I walked back in to the dry sauna and enjoyed the minty fresh room for at least 10 minutes.

By the time I walked over to Mo she was awake. We both agreed it was time for lunch, so I went to Victoria and ordered a Greek salad, potato pierogies and chicken pierogies. When the food came out, I couldn't believe the portions. Omg! There was so much food in front of us! I couldn't believe how good everything was. The pierogies were fresh. Nothing like the Mrs. G pierogies you get out of the freezer section. The bread...omg the bread was like fachcha bread, but better! And we had this "juice"...omg. Victoria is an amazing cook! During lunch we talked about how we had to come back to the Banya.

Leo, Mr. Junk out of his boxers and his very sexy lady friend came to visit us in the restaurant. They told us about their massages. Then Leo told us about a service that he offers at the Banya. To sum it out he beats the client with oak leaves to remove toxins from their body. It sounded crazy and amazing. All I could think about was how was I was going to round up the cash to get it done, because I want a flaming Russian man to beat me with oak leaves.

Now the point I dreaded the most. It was time to go upstairs to shower and get dressed in the curtain less changing room. After the relaxing day I didn't care and showed my body to the world.

After hanging out at the Banya we headed into the city, because Mo had to run some errands and she wanted to go the Buttas spot. I was more than happy to go the Butta spot, because the food and drinks are yummy. I had a lobster tail, shrimp, shrimp fried rice and small buttas. Then we headed home. It was a good day! Came home watched a little TV and started working on this post. I slept like a baby for the whole night which is a rare thing. Maybe it was the sauna, all of the food or the buttas. (For all you who don't know. A buttas is a mix drink. Don't ask me what's in it.)

My final recommendation is - go the Coney Island Banya and go often! It is worth the $25. The food is amazing. The saunas are relaxing and the staff is really great.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Love it! I had a friend who spent 6 weeks one summer in Russia and visited a banya there. She told me about getting beat with tree branches... she wasn't crazy about it. My experience is that American's are self-conscious and the rest of the world tends towards letting it all out. I could have it all wrong, though, I am from Texas. :P